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Human Rights Day Protest 13.12.08 - MR by STICS

Media Release: Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney. Friday 12th December 2008

Sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,                    . Rudd is human rights hypocrite.

Aboriginal leaders join National Day of Protest against Northern Territory Intervention

Tomorrow 10am: Across Australia (including Alice Springs), thousands of people will rally on Saturday, 13 December, to mark International Human Rights Day and protest the on-going violation of the human rights of Indigenous Australians, under the Rudd Government (details below).

This action has won widespread endorsement, including the NT Prescribed Area People's Alliance, ANTaR, NSW Reconciliation Council, Maritime Union Australia and Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union. (Please find full list attached)

"The Rudd government is guilty of human rights hypocrisy," said Monique Wiseman, Indigenous activist from Stop The Intervention Collective Sydney.

"While it celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the government has suspended the Racial Discrimination Act to impose government sanctioned discrimination against Aboriginal people. The government has ignored calls from the Human Rights Commission and its own Intervention review to re-instate the RDA.

The NT Intervention violates thirteen of the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They announce a review to establish a national Bill of Rights while they trample on the rights of Aboriginal people.

"Indigenous policy in this country is characterised by a blatant denial of self-determination. Almost a year ago, Kevin Rudd apologized to the Stolen generations, but the apology only highlights the hypocrisy of the government," said Wiseman

"These draconian Intervention measures do nothing but further entrench poverty, disadvantage and inequality in Indigenous communities," said Uncle Dootch Kennedy, Chair of the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council. "

"CDEP is being scrapped. Welfare quarantining has taken us back to the ration days. Land leases are being coercively demanded in exchange for basic services. Indigenous communities are being stripped of their rights."

"Enough is enough. We call on the Federal Government to immediately abandon the NT Intervention and re-instate the racial Discrimination Act. It is also time for Australia to immediately adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."

The Human Rights day demonstrations mark more than a year of protest against the Intervention. In February this year 2000 people marched on Parliament House demanding an end to the NT Intervention. In September 500 people traveled to Alice Springs to visit ‘prescribed communities' and hear the first-hand stories of suffering under the Intervention.

Action details Sydney: 10am the Block, Saturday 13th December. Speakers include Nicole Watson (Indigenous lawyer), Uncle Dootch Kennedy (Chair, Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council), Ben Cruse (Cultural Heritage Officer, Eden), Malcolm Tulloch (Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, NSW Branch), John Kaye (Greens MP) and George Newhouse (human rights lawyer).

Advance notice: A National Indigenous Rights Convergence on Canberra is planned for the opening of Parliament on 3 February 2009.

For more information contact:

Uncle Dootch Kennedy 0434 366 374 or Monique Wiseman 0415 410 558

Endorsed by: :
Prescribed Area People's Alliance (PAPA) meeting, Alice Springs, November 7th 2008
STICS (Stop the Intervention Collective Sydney)
Professor Larissa Behrendt, Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning UTS
Mark McMillan LLB GDLP LLM Senior researcher
Alison Vivian BSC Dip Ed LLB LLM
Women's Reconciliation Network NSW
The Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education
Gordon & Elaine Syron, The Keeping Place/Black Fella's Dreaming Museum
Jeff McMullen, Journalist, author, film maker CEO Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth
Illawarra Land Council
NSW Reconciliation Council
Tribal Warrior Association
Dr Susan Greer
NSW Aboriginal Land Council
South Sydney Greens
Medical Association for the Prevention of War, NT Branch
QUT Student Guild
Just Rights Queensland
Nala Mansell-McKenna, State Secretary, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre
WGAR (Working Group for Aboriginal Rights) Canberra
Patrick Byrt, Chairperson SA 2008 International Human Rights Day Committee
ANTaR Victoria
Roma Mitchell Human Rights Volunteer Service, Roma Mitchell Community Legal Centre Inc
Chris Barry
Darwin Aboriginal Rights Coalition
National Indigenous Alliance for Self Determination (Victoria)
Maritime Union of Australia, NSW Branch
Nicole Watson, Lawyer, Jumbanna Indigenous House of Learning
Waratah Rose Gillespie
Vanessa Barbay
Senator Rachel Siewert, Federal Greens spokesperson on Indigenous issues
Giz Watson, Greens MLC Member for North Metropolitan Region, Western Australia
Professor Mick Dodson, Director ANU Centre for Indigenous Studies, Community Member (Pacific) UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
George Newhouse, B.Com, LL.B, Human Rights Lawyer representing the Prescribed Area People's Alliance in the United Nations
Dr. Gertrude Stotz, Anthropologist
Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation Inc.
Mat Ward, journalist
Blue Mountains ANTaR
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Adelaide Local Meeting
Women for Wik
Rosie Scott
Reconciliation for Western Sydney
ANTaR Inner West
Eileen Cummings, Bulman and Ngkurr Communities, Former Policy Advisor to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory on Aboriginal and Women's Affairs
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR)
National Indigenous Times (NIT)
Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (NSW Branch)
NSW Young Labor Left
NSW Young Labor
Ann Rees and Roger Keyes
Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation
Dr. Stephen Meredith, Psychologist
Reconciliation Victoria
Friends of the Earth Australia
Former Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett
Blue Mountains People for Reconciliation
Matthew Maurer LLB
South Sydney Greens
Irene Doutney, Greens Councillor, City of Sydney
Cathy Bloch
Lane Cove Residents for Reconciliation
Northern Sydney Region Reconciliation Group
Dick Williams, State Secretary of the ETU, Qld and NT Branch
Narelle Hennessy
FBEU (Fire Brigade Employees Union)
Lee Rhiannon
Caroline Le Couteur MLA, ACT Greens Member for Molonglo
Daniel John Peterson
Redfern Residents for Reconciliation
Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA)
National Welfare Rights Network
Welfare Rights NSW
Intervention Rollback Action Group, Mparntwe-Alice Springs
Senator Bob Brown, the Greens
Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser, AC CH.